Dear whoever at microsoft1 decided that some recent update to windows XP would henceforth ignore the settings controlling whether and how often to prompt for a reboot after an update and just go back to every ten goddam minutes: fuck you in the eye.

1 $20 says it’s a marketing plot to hasten people’s transition to vista/win7. and you know what? it’s probably working.

The Recursive Burger

We’ve had the burger with donuts for buns and the burger with grilled-cheese sandwiches for buns and now the sandwich with fried chicken for buns.

But they must all bow before my invention: the recursive burger, the burger that has recursive burgers for buns. That’s right, each bun is replaced by a burger, each of whose buns is replaced by a burger, each of whose buns is replaced…

Luckily the recursive burger is available in two sizes: finite and infinite. In the finite burger, each bun is replaced with a recursive burger that’s been compressed to 1/3 the height. The final burger is therefore three units high (patty and bun are each one unit high). In the infinite burger, each bun is replaced with a full-sized recursive burger (or, really, a recursive burger of any size > 1/3 size) and the thing is unboundedly large. It’d be hard to make a business of selling infinite recursive burgers.

If you think the (finite) recursive burger sounds like an interesting and tasty concoction, consider this: it converges to a big pile of meat. If you’re having trouble visualizing it, consider this diagram:

Make it happen, Carl’s Jr.

My Life in Song

A dumb “meme” that I couldn’t resist doing: using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title.

1. Your Artist: new order
2. Are you male or female? the him
3. Describe yourself: someone like you
4. How do you feel about yourself: doubts even here
5. Name one thing you are not: true faith
6. What is the best advice you have to give: every little counts
7. The first thing you think of when you wake up: leave me alone
8. If you could go anywhere, where would you go: all the way
9. Your favorite form of transportation: 60 miles an hour
10. Your best friend is: mr disco
11. Your favorite color is: everything’s gone green
12. What’s the weather like: sunrise
13. If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: blue monday
14. What is life to you: regret
15. Describe where you currently live: rock the shack
16. If you could change your name, what would it be: krafty
17. Your favorite food is: temptation
18. How I would like to die: dream attack
19. My soul’s present condition: in a lonely place
20. How would you describe your love life: world (price of love)

Books – July 09

*** Matthew Amster-Burton – Hungry Monkey
***** David Foster Wallace – Infinite Jest

All I really read in July was Infinite Jest (Hungry Monkey was mostly June). Half-written blog posts about it abound. But I’ve been pacing myself and am still working on it.

Hungry Monkey is subtitled “a food-loving father’s quest to raise an adventurous eater” which pretty much sums it up. It’s funny in places, the daughter, Iris, is certainly cute, and some of the recipes and food tips sound pretty good. But the book is, by the end, insufferably twee, and it’s not very well written. M.A-B. is going for a sort of jokey informality which often comes off forced. And, of course, much of the book is undermined by the fact that Iris is, like most kids, not, in fact, an adventurous eater. The last couple of chapters involve M.A-B. making lobster and then sushi, neither of which Iris actually eats. So what we get is some stories about him making food interspersed with cute things Iris said. MFK Fisher meets Dr. Spock this is not. Still, the book’s mode of thinking is helpful for parents who want to share cooking with their kids. We will probably try some of M.A-B.’s tips and recipes with Nora.


Anathem was a birthday present last year, and it made the perfect jury duty book. I hauled that thing (1000 or so pages) to the courthouse every day for three days, and sat in that (very nice, airy, light-filled) room with it until it was done. I like big books and even finished all three of Stephenson’s baroque cycle, so I was looking forward to this one. On the other hand, I’ve had my issues with Stephenson, so, you know.

Anyway, the book is pretty much “The Name of the Rose” meets “Idiocracy” meets “The Urth of the New Sun”. It’s got the first’s (more or less) monastery setting and rambling philoso-religious dialogues (which are an excuse for the author, whether Eco or Stephenson, to show off lots of library time), the second’s humorously stupid future (some 3000 years in the future and the masses still walk around wearing sports jerseys and drinking “sugared beverages” from gigantic plastic cups), and the third’s assault of words you don’t understand (in Stephenson’s case, because he made them up; in Wolfe’s, because they are archaic dictionary words no one actually uses any more).
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